Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm here in Seattle!

          I made it to Seattle on Friday morning! Everything was shipped out this week to our storage unit in Puyallup. This is where the Sewing and Stitchery Expo is held every year. Just at the base of Mt Rainier! It is always a huge relief when everything is packed and shipped. Of course, this year, we've packed for 2 other shows at the same time. But I don't want to think about that right now!
       After I collected my bags and rental car (which almost did not happen!), I headed to Tacoma ~ see the Tacoma Dome?! I have always wanted to go to the Museum of Glass there, but never had any time, at least when they were open. It was fabulous! And, here is a picture of the famous Bridge of Glass at the Museum of Glass. These are all pieces by Dale Chihuly ~ ah!!! I'd go to any museum to see his work and I've gone to quite a few. Truly an amazing artist! His work is breathtaking.
         So, why did I almost not get my rental car? Because my Driver's license had expired! Can you believe it! I guess that I never did get the reminder letter and these days, hardly anyone ever asks to look at it. Of course, you cannot rent a car without a valid license. Luckily my husband was at home and fortunately I had renewed my license in person the last time. So, I was eligible to renew on line. Yeah! We subsequently emailed the document to the front desk of the car rental company. They accepted that as my renewal and then they finally rented me my little economy car! By then, I felt worn out! So, I headed off to have some fun! You might want to check your license!
           On Saturday I attended the Northwest Fabric & Notions Show in Renton, just outside of Seattle. I saw lots of wonderful new lines from Alexander Henry, Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake & Michael Miller to mention a few. Most of these are not even on their sites ~ they are that new! I did order lots of goodies  and they should start to arrive within 3 to 4 weeks. You would think that after so much sewing getting ready for these three big sewing expos, that I would not feel like looking at more fabric. Wait, what I am saying? I always want to look at fabric, buy it and then play with it! I found some incredible new fashion fabrics too. Stretch denim for jeggings, cotton burnouts, stretch sateen shirtings, silk voile, more european lawn cottons, some fabulous jersey knits and some wonderful rayons! Ah, I can hardly wait to have them in the shop and start designing!
          On Sunday, I treated myself and went to my favorite knitting shop in all of Seattle ~ Weaving Works. I love it. I spent over two hours there and looked at everything! I did come away with three small and easy projects and I even started one that evening. 
           Today was all work though. I have been on my computer nearly the entire day. I only stopped to eat. And, tomorrow I will be going into Puyallup to check on our shipments and drop my class handouts off at Office Depot for printing. I will be going back to the airport in the late afternoon to get my dear friend and helper, Janice. We are going to have so much fun ~ yeah and a lot of work!
  And, here is one last piece of glass that I fell in love with!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If it snows, I'll sew!


           Yes, we have snow in the forecast AGAIN! I can't believe that we are actually experiencing a real  "winter" here in Texas. Last week the shop was closed until Saturday due to ice and snow. That's not good for business. But, boy did I get a lot of sewing done! 

                 Everyone at Sew It Up has been working on lots of new kits for Spring. We try to post the new photos on the website every few days.  I'll be leaving in three weeks to go to three different sewing expos, so, naturally we need new goodies. It makes my head spin how much we have going on right now. But, here is one interesting observation. The more I design, the more I sew and the more ideas that come to me. I have a notebook that I carry with me everywhere.  In this notebook, I write down my ideas, sketch up my "visions",  and jot down "to do" lists each day. The only problem is that each item that I cross off this list, I add two more! So, I feel that I'll never get everything done. It's a delicate balance  of knowing when to stop and when you have enough . . . . and knowing when to rest. That last one is the hardest one for me. But, maybe it will snow again tomorrow and I will "rest" in my sewing room!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

10 Miles of RUFFLES!

            Ever since my kids left to go back to school and the house was de-decorated, I have been locked up in my sewing room creating! It's getting pretty messy in here, but boy have I been productive. All of us at Sew It Up have been sewing like crazy! Naturally, we are getting a whole bunch of new stuff ready for all of the shows this Spring not to mention the shop. It seems that the more I design, sew and create, the more I want to keep going. I keep thinking that I am almost done for a while and then, pow, more ideas pop into my head - maybe I am afflicted! Perhaps its like an obsessive compulsive thing. Well, even if "I am" or if "it is",  I am having a lot of fun!

The other day I was focusing on making ruffles for a new skirt kits. I had to really psych myself up though because I wanted to hem them all with a rolled hem, BUT I have a new serger that I will have to teach myself to use first. I bought this last Spring, in April. I had trouble with one of my other sergers, so I thought that I could just take this one out of the box and zoom. Ha! I ended up in tears! You do not take a more complicated serger "out of the box" and intuitively know what to do. Sewing may be in my blood, but  . . .  Since then, I have sold my other two sergers so I was forced to learn and use this new one. 

First, I read the book - twice! I got a good night's sleep, woke to a good cup of coffee, dressed (minimally, I was not planning on going anywhere!) and went upstairs to my sewing room. I sat down, opened the book, turned the machine on, and started going through the book page by page making up my own little samples. By lunchtime, I felt like I was ready. I felt pretty good about it. So, I started my fist project. A four tiered ruffled skirt ("Stella" by Lila Tueller) - perfect! I moved on to three more projects - all good. Then, I plunged into making a new Nie Nie skirt by Pink Fig. This is a 6 tiered skirt for little girls and it honestly takes about 10 miles of fabric that you turn into ruffles. I sewed, serged rolled hems, etc. It was fantastic!

BUT, for the next project, my serger started messing up. So, what do you do? You go to the trouble shooting section of your manual and well, nothing fit the description of what my machine was doing ~ or rather failing to do. It did not matter if I wanted to do a flatlock or an overlock stitch, the tension was all off and each time I stopped to look at it, the needle was unthreaded. So, I stopped! I fixed dinner, watched show and then told my husband that I was going to figure this out. Lol - no way. An hour and a half later, no solution! So, what do you do then? Well, my advise to my students is always: stop, go get a good night's sleep. Then, come back and clean and rethread the whole machine -  carefully. Hmm. . . Something was missing . . . 

I talked to several of my sewing friends; no ideas, no answer. So, I called my dealer. Of course, they want me to bring it in to be serviced. Don't they know that will cost me a half of a day! We talked for a little while and suddenly my Bernina "genius" says, "Did you say that you have just made like 10 miles of ruffles?" (I failed to mention all of the other projects that I had completed.) "Yes", I replied. "Have you changed your needle?" she respectfully submitted. BINGO, that was the something missing!

So, I changed the needle and it worked perfectly!!! Such a pity that I am such a dummy and did not think of that! I wasted so much time! I still cannot believe that I did not even think of that. Needles do wear out you know. The tip, but also the eye of the needle loosing its integrity. 

Boy, was that stupid!

Brrr . . . its actually been snowing here in Texas!